Sergio Getting Conservative and Thats Scary

By George WhiteMay 25, 2001, 4:00 pm
They say you dont really become a golfer until you stay away from what can hurt you, as well as run towards that which can help you. With all due apologies to Arnold Palmer, of course, who is still going for it at the rather advanced age of 71, thats the ticket for a long and fruitful career.
 
Well, the jury is still pretty far out, but maybe ' just maybe ' Sergio Garcia is getting this through his noggin at the tender age of 21. Thats 50 years younger than Palmer. Of course, Arnie still hasnt conceded that sometimes less is more ' sometimes you win at sundown by being prudent when the sun is up. In other words, sometimes its best to be, ahem, conservative.
 
Master Sergio seems to be learning that characteristic, even though he should be finishing up his college years instead of winding up his second year as a professional. Tiger Woods was just getting through his first year as a pro when he was 21. Thats a risky game to play, admittedly. Tiger has progressed by light years in the ensuing four seasons. We dont know how well Sergio can progress in the next four years, but it is hardly fair to believe he can make up ground like Tiger can. No one else in history has.
 
But Sergio is on the right track. On the course, he may still do stupid things. He may get mad at a referee in Australia and make some totally asinine comments. When he was younger, just 19, he did this little shoe-kicking thing that got him in hot water in Britain. But on the course, he is showing signs of maturity, and that doesnt bode well for the gents who play the PGA Tour.
 
He just won his first tournament here in the States, and it was a doozy. The MasterCard Colonial didnt have Woods, but it had just about everyone else. It had Phil Mickelson, the worlds second-ranked player, and Mickelson was ahead by three shots in the last round.
 
Garcia had missed the cut in a couple of stateside outings, the Masters and Hilton Head, and he went back to his home in Spain to do a little thinking. He hung out a little with friends, he played the Spanish Open, and then he came back to play the Byron Nelson.
 
You had the feeling something was about to happen in the Nelson, where he went 63 and 64 the last two rounds. It did ' at the Colonial, where he had a 64 and 65, caught Mickelson, and in the process won by two strokes.
 
He has been listening a lot to 36-year-old Jesper Parnevik, himself a pretty free spirit in days past. And Garcia mentioned his friendship with Peter Jacobsen, who is now an ancient geezer 47 years old. Those two older gentlemen must have had for him some pretty good advice. And Master Sergio, bright kid that he seems to be, must have taken it.
 
In the final round, third hole, hes behind by five shots. Hes got 165 to the pin. A young man would hit whatever would get him to the hole. A wise old bird might think differently. Listen to Garcia:
 
Im between 9-iron and wedge. I cant hit 9-iron because its going to be too difficult from this rough to get it up-and-down. So I was just trying to play conservatively, knowing that I was putting well. If I didnt hit it well, if I didnt hit it to eight or 10 feet, if I hit it to 20 or 25 feet, I was still going to be able to make the putt.
 
I did that, hit the wedge to 25 feet ' and then I made the putt.
 
And, theres more.
 
I did the same thing on 8 ' I was between a 5 and 6, and the right club to hit was probably a 5. But I was putting the back so much in play that I decided to hit it 15-to-20 feet short and try to make the putt. I did.
 
On 10, he didnt feel confident on the drive. A year ago, he would have tried to gas it anyway and probably hit it in the rough. This time, he purposely aimed a little further left where he had more room. On 12, he lacked a little confidence again and hit it further right. On 13, he watched carefully while Glen Day hit his putt, then Sergio played just a hair more break. It went in for birdie.
 
By the time it was over, they tallied up his strokes and he was two better than Mickelson. He picked his times to be aggressive ' and the times to lay back. And he made plenty of birdies when he was laying back.
 
I played really well, but I played smart, too, he said. Thats what you learn when youre around here.
 
Sergio raised a few eyebrows with his play the last day. Hes learning this game, indeed. Tiger would be proud. So would Parnevik and Jacobsen. Arnie would have been proud of the results. The kid ' kid? ' had won.
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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.